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Window Treatments

Window Cleaning Tips

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Cleaning your windows is never a fun prospect, but if you’re able to do a good job, at least the task is worth it. So how do you get the cleanest, most sparkling windows around? Take a look at the following tips:

Outside & Inside

You should have one set of ‘tools’ for outside and one for inside – you’re welcome to use the same bucket of course, but your sponges and scrubbers should be separate. Both sides of the window have to cope with different challenges, and the last thing you want is to smear dirt around unnecessarily. The best tool you can use is a microfiber cloth – just remember to lay a towel down under the window when you’re inside. You don’t want to have a damp floor to deal with after.

Dish Soap

Dish soap still remains one of the cheapest and easiest options for window cleaning. You can buy specially designed products, but the right mix of dish soap can do just as good a job. Add a few drops to cool water and your sponges will glide gracefully. You should always choose an environmentally friendly, biodegradable brand – especially for exterior windows and homes with small children.

Vinegar

After washing with the dish soap solution, use a mix of water and distilled white wine vinegar in a spray bottles to help remove any streaks. Use a clean, lint free towel or newspaper pages to help buff and make your windows shine.

Weather Matters

A cool, cloudy day is the best time to wash the windows, as this will ensure nothing will dry on the panes.

Screens

Screens shouldn’t be neglected, and window cleaning is the ideal opportunity to give them some TLC. Rinse them with water, then using the same vinegar and water solution, soak them thoroughly. They need to dry completely before reinstalling them.

Magic Sponge

Finally if you have some stubborn stains and mineral deposits, use the trusty magic sponge!

15

Drapes for your Bathroom

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Bathrooms can be a bit more of challenge than other parts of your home to redecorate. They are well-known to require a larger budget (thanks to the plumbing involved) and to place more strain on materials due to the ongoing humidity. You also need to consider your window treatment carefully – after all you want something that will contend with the water and let in light, as well as providing you with enough privacy. That doesn’t mean that all style needs to go out the window – thankfully drapes come in such a huge range of colors, patterns, and materials, you’ll easily be able to find several options to serve your bathroom.

Privacy

Probably more than any other room, your bathroom window treatment must protect your privacy. Drapes are a great option, as long as they’re done in the right way. People often enjoy a lot of natural light in the bathroom, so half drapes or valances are a popular choice to balance both of these requirements. It also means you can have the drapes ‘drawn’ and don’t have to mess around with opening and closing them every time someone needs to use the bathroom.

Material

With the amount of moisture in the air (especially in a full bathroom) you shouldn’t use any material which is likely to be affected. Consider vinyl drapes (which aren’t susceptible to mold and are very easy to clean), cottons, or blends, depending on your budget and preference.

Patterns and Colors

Many homeowners often feel more comfortable playing with bolder patterns and colors in the bathroom as opposed to the bedroom or living room. Patterns work fabulously on drapes in the bathroom – especially if you don’t opt for full sized. They can be a striking focal point to the room and frame the area beautifully.

14

Drapes for your Living Room

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Drapes are the perfect choice for your living room. They not only contribute on an aesthetic level, they make a room immediately cozier. Then there are the more practical aspects; drapes do a great job of blocking out sound, light, cold, and give you and your family the privacy you need.

Functionality

Functionality should always be your main concern – after all you might have the most beautiful, ornate drapes around but if they don’t offer any warmth or let the light in so much you can’t see the television, you’re in trouble. A lot of drapes are designed with various applications in mind, as such you can get blackout material (popular in the bedroom) or heavily lined. Think about where your living room faces, and about how much natural light you want. This can help to inform your decision when faced with so many options.

Color/Patterns

Next you should consider what color and/or print you want. The great thing about drapes is they’re so popular, and so they are countless different shades, hues, and patterns to choose from. Take some samples of materials home and see how they suit the decor. Lighter drapes tend to let more light in, but darker ones can be too demanding of the space visually. When it comes to patterns if you’re not ready for a fully patterned drape, remember you can always layer your drapes with bolder curtains. Neutrals are always a good choice as they can suit many different decors and can be reused in different rooms when you decide to redecorate again.

Material

Lining your drapes will provide you with the functionality you need, but what material should your drapes be? In the living room you might want to keep things light and simple and opt for cotton, or if you’re feeling more luxurious you could also think about silks and velvets.

13

Drapes for the Kitchen

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Are you unsure of what window treatment to settle on for your kitchen?? Drapes are a great choice in any room thanks to the huge range of different materials, styles, prints, and prices – and the kitchen is no exception.

When it comes to the kitchen, you have different requirements than in other areas of the home. Generally there is less of a need for privacy, and more of a need for natural light to enter. Then there are the external factors – the purpose of a kitchen is of course to cook in. This means your material will have to contend with the occasional splatter and more moisture and heat in the air.

Style

The great thing about window treatments is their ability to finish off the look of a room. In the kitchen, the last thing you’re probably thinking about when choosing your cabinets and layout is what drapes will match it. Thankfully they come in such a wide variety of styles, it won’t be hard to find something that complements your decor.

A common trend in the kitchen is to opt for shorter drapes than you would in for example, the bedroom or living room. In fact a popular choice to have a valance – which covers just the top of the window – or half length (so as to still keep an element of privacy). This helps let in a lot of natural light to the kitchen, with the drapes being mostly decorative in nature.

Material

In other rooms you can afford to err on the luxurious side with your drapery – but silk or velvet isn’t practical for the kitchen. Instead opt for less fragile, easier to clean materials like cotton or vinyl. You may need to wash these drapes more often than others, so be sure to find out how easy it is to this when reviewing your options.

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Drapes for your Bedroom

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Window treatment is not only a functional but also an aesthetically impactful part of any room’s decor. When it comes to the bedroom, their importance is further heightened, as contribute majorly to your sleep environment.

When it comes to creating the perfect conditions in which to slumber, it really does depend on personal preference and the exterior environment. Some people prefer natural light to assist them in waking up, whereas others need to block out intrusive street lamps in order to get to sleep in the first place. Thankfully there’s a whole range of window treatments to suit any and all sleep types – in fact there’s a huge variety even in terms of just drapes.

Drapes for the Window

Drapes are a traditional choice when it comes to window treatment – but that doesn’t mean they haven’t continued to improve. Drapes now come in a huge range of different styles, materials, colors, and prices – so make sure you consider all your options, as there are plenty. They tend to be heavier than curtains and are often lined, which makes them the perfect choice for the bedroom. By having heavier material you not only block out light, but also sound and cold. It’s worth spending more on high quality drapes if you need them to do the aforementioned.

Header

Drapes come with different headers (the top of the material) which include gathers, pinch pleats,, and more. You might also consider topping your curtains with swags for a romantic touch.

Material

As the bedroom is less visited than other areas of the home and by less people (as well as not having to deal with external factors such as humidity) you can afford to be choosy with your material. Some homeowners like to opt for luxurious materials such as silks and velvets.

Drapes for the Bed

Drapes are not just for the window – you can use your bed frame to create a beautiful focal point in your room by creating a canopy with drapes. The material and style you choose is again dependent on your preference: you could opt for heavy materials in opulent hues for a traditional four poster bed, for a less intense look  have lighter materials (like silk) hung just at the head.

The benefit of having drapes around your bed is not only how they contribute visually, they can also keep your sleeping area warmer.

How to Get More Natural Light in your Home

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Natural light makes a huge difference to the overall energy and aesthetic of your home, as well as to your mood. You might think there’s nothing you can do without altering the structure of the building, but there’s actually several additions you can make which will make your home feel like a lighter and brighter place:

Window Treatments

Your choice of window treatment has the most influence on the amount of natural light in your home. Avoid heavier fabrics with lining, instead try opting for shades with easy mobility (such a cellular or pleated blinds) so you can lift them up and down when needed. You can also try sheer curtains, which are often made from translucent material – this allows you to have natural light in your home without compromising on privacy. Cafe curtains are another great option, as you can block out the bottom of your window whilst still letting in tons of natural light from the top.

Mirrors

One of the easiest changes you can make is to add more mirrors around your home. Mirrors reflect, so by placing them in strategic spots you can really create the illusion of additional light. You can also buy furniture that has glass or mirrored panels or accents if you don’t have space for a mirror.

Color Palette

Having a lighter color palette in your home can really do wonders for light. By painting your home in lighter shades, you can allow the sunlight to move more freely inside – think eggshell, blue, and light grays.

Change the Layout

You can make a big change by simply moving your furniture around. You might be surprised by how much light is being blocked by your floor plan, so try moving all items a few feet away from any source of natural light, including doors.

Make a Change

If you have a thick door letting no light in, look into replacing it with a door that has a window. This will open up the room a great deal.

What are the Best Window Treatments for Bay Windows?

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Bay windows are a beautiful addition to your home. They are a focal point for a room, letting in copious amounts of light, giving panoramic views, and creating the illusion of additional space. As they’re such an impactful part of a rooms decor, it can be difficult to figure out how to best dress the windows. Take look at some of these suggestions to make your bay window the best it can be:

Roman Shade

This type of shade is a beautiful frame for bay windows, providing a colorful accent and offering a little more privacy. A functional and stylish choice, you can afford to go bold with color or patterns on your Roman shades, as well as playing around with textures.

Enclosed Curtains

If your bay window comes with a seating area, you may want to enclose the area with curtains. Depending on the material of the curtain, you can use this window treatment to insulate the room and create a cozier atmosphere. Choose a thicker, possibly even blackout material in rich silks or embroidered cotton – especially if your bay window is in the bedroom.

Austrian Shades

Austrian shades are a bold choice, but if done in the right way they can really make a statement. In Austrian shades, the material is gathered into scallop when raised, giving a luxurious edge to your decor. Bay windows can handle the elaborate nature of this treatment, choose light silks that complement the colors in the rest of your decor and ensure they lift high enough so they don’t block out too much light.

Cellular Shades

Now onto a more contemporary style, cellular shades are great at blocking light and noise, as well as insulating the home. You also have a great deal of control as you can easily pull the shades up and down when needed.

Layering

No matter what type of treatment you choose, you should always consider layering.Using multiple treatments means you can meet both functional and aesthetic goals – for example, use cellular shades combined with drapes.

Types of Window Treatments

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The type of window treatment you choose can really impact the overall energy and atmosphere of a room’s decor. Not only that, your window treatment has practical applications – do you want to invite light in the room or block it out? Do you need sound insulation? Are you having a combination of blinds and decorative drapes? If you want blinds, what style, color, and material? There’s just so much choice available to you!

Shutters

A classic choice, shutters are sturdy, solid, and stable. They cover the frame of the window completely, comprising of most usually horizontal rails. Shutters come in a range of materials, (most usually wood for exterior) from glass to textured cloth. There are many beneficial qualities to this treatment, including sun, heat, and storm protection.

Cellular Shades

Cellular shades are a modern, improved version of the traditional shade. Thanks to their ergonomic design, they manage to insulate much more efficiently, and can block out light making them the ideal choice for the bedroom. The cons of this window treatment are its expense, difficulty in cleaning and light control, and its aesthetic.

Venetian Blinds

One of the most popular choices for window treatments, Venetian blinds comes in a huge array of prices, colors, designs, styles, and materials. They are great for controlling the amount of light  in a room, although they’re not as good at blocking out sound and temperature as other treatment options.

Curtains

Another extremely favored window treatments, curtains straddle both style and practicality with no problem at all. Of course, this is all dependant on your requirements – and your budget. Blackout curtains are a firm favorite for the bedroom, but you can also use drapes as an elegant addition to the interior of your home. There’s a huge array of curtain materials, so they vary in terms of  insulation, cleanliness, longevity, fire resistance, and noise absorption. Be sure to shop around and find the best fit for you.

Sheer Curtains

Also known as net curtains, this material stays in place over the window permanently. The purpose of sheer curtains is to provide a greater degree of privacy without compromising on light. As such, they tend to come in light shades of whites (eggshells, ivory etc.).

Cafe Curtains

Another option to dress up your widows whilst adding to your privacy, cafe curtains are popular choices for the kitchen or bathroom. They run along the top or bottom of the window along a single rod, meaning they still let in a great deal of light.

Window Treatments that Can Reduce the Summer Heat

Window Treatments that Can Reduce the Summer Heat

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Not only are window treatments a key way to add personality, color, and texture to a room, they also reduce heat and control the amount of light that enters the rooms in your home. Window treatments can be inside your home or external features. Choosing a window treatment can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Awning, blinds, panels, screens, and shutters are just a few of the methods of window treatments that can reduce the summer heat in your home.

Each window and room in your home serve a unique purpose, so the ideal window treatments inside the home are ones that make the room feel complete. For example, living room curtains can be patterned or plain to complement the other furniture in the room. If you have a bold, patterned sofa or couch, a simple or plain curtain is a great way to keep the room from becoming too busy. If your room retains a lot of light and heat, consider dark-colored or light-resistant curtains (like blackout curtains) for living rooms, bedrooms, and anything in between.

Blinds—both exterior and interior—can also help reduce heat. Blinds should be kept shut during the summer months more maximum cooling benefit. Consider if your windows have awnings or not, as awnings on windows can also deflect light and reduce heat from the outside-in.

On the exterior of a window, homeowners should consider placing mesh screens on their windows as this can also reduce heat entering the home. These screens should cover the entire window to be most effective at blocking heat.

For those building a home, building shutters on windows is also a great way to monitor heat and air influx into your home. It is recommended by designers that shutters are included as the rest of the home is being built. Many can be opened and closed using mechanical levers from inside the room.  

Creating an energy-efficient home can be challenging, but effective and innovative window treatments are options to help you elevate your home’s aesthetic while simultaneously saving you money in heating and electricity. Building a home with energy efficiency in mind is ideal, but renovations and easy additions like curtains and blinds on the interior of your home are also great options.

 

4 Different Types of Window Treatments for Every Style Home

4 Different Types of Window Treatments for Every Style Home

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Window treatments are an aspect of home decor that often goes unnoticed, but in reality, window treatments add a tremendous amount of warmth and personality to a room. The right window treatment can also reduce the heat in a given room, or provide shade when a home gets a particularly large amount of natural light. Here are four choices for window treatments for all styles of homes:

  1. Curtains

It seems simple, but curtains are one of the main ways to make a room cozy. A curtain can be an accent piece to a room, or can subtly add to a space. For rooms with lots of light and heat coming through the window, dark curtains or blackout curtains can be a good choice, particularly for bedrooms where it can be difficult to sleep if there’s a lot of light coming in. Curtains have the benefit that a homeowner has so much choice of pattern, curtain length, and style.

  1. Blinds

Oftentimes, people forget how effective blinds can be at concealing a room from outside eyes. Curtains alone often aren’t enough, if you value your privacy, for homeowners to feel truly cozy in a room. Blinds can be used on any kind of window. They are largely limited in styling—white blinds are most common—but homeowners can also consider blinds made out of natural material like bamboo, or vertical blinds to add an element of texture to a room.

  1. Shutters

Shutters are typically reserved for the external of the home, but they go a long way in terms of style. Many think of shutters as being purely functional parts of a home, but they often add a softness and vintage feeling to a home. Shutters remind homeowners of New England, of times long past, and they can be modernized to show panels with color and texture that fits your individual home.

  1. Consider the movement of the window treatment

Window treatments like curtains and blinds shouldn’t be chosen without considering the space and movement of the room. For example, you wouldn’t want to use long, flowing curtains in the kitchen, as that would be an impediment to the function of the space. Conversely, you wouldn’t want a short valance in the living room because the curtain is too short to be drawn back. Before choosing a window treatment, consider the individual rooms in your home and the primary activities and purpose of the room.